|© 1998 Bernard SUZANNE||Last updated December 2, 1998|
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This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. By clicking on the minimap at the beginning of the entry, you can go to a full size map in which the city or location appears. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
City of southern Sicily (area
Gela was founded around 680 by settlers coming from Rhodes and the neighboring island of Telos, and also from Crete (Thucydides, VI, 4). About a century later, around 580, Gela and Rhodes founded the city of Acragas, about 40 miles west of Gela.
Toward the end of the VIth century, Cleandrus became tyrant of Gela. He was assassinated in 498 and succeeded by his brother Hippocrates. Hippocrates conquered several cities of Sicily, including Naxos, Zancle (the future Messina) and Leontini, but couldn't submit Syracuse, who received help from Corinth, her mother city. When he died in 485, Gelon, the chief of his cavalry, took power and submitted Syracuse, of which he became tyrant, leaving Gela to his brother Hieron (Herodotus, VII, 153-155). At the death of Gelon in 478, Hieron succeeded him in Syracuse.
It is in Gela that a meeting of representative of all Sicilan cities took place in 424 where, according to Thucydides (Histories, IV, 58-65), the Syracusan general Hermocrates (one of the interlocutors of Socrates in the Timæus), convinced all cities to make peace among themselves) .